Nigel Farage has earned his place in history as the man who led Britain out of the EU
Nigel Farage has persuaded Britain to vote to leave the European Union. Mission accomplished for the Ukip chief, so it's little surprise that he has felt able to ride off into the sunset, announcing his resignation today by declaring: ""I want my life back".
The Ukip leader said he had "couldn't possibly achieve more", having presided over the biggest political upheaval in modern British history - which would certainly not have happened without him.
For years, the Establishment mocked and ignored the Ukip leader, but he is the man who put Britain's withdrawal from the EU on the agenda. His party, once dismissed by Michael Howard as a collection of "cranks and political gadflies", forced the Prime Minister to call the referendum.
And when the referendum came, David Cameron told us we had a choice between his Britain and Nigel Farage's. Britain chose Mr Farage's vision.
We've got our country back. Thanks to all of you. #IndependenceDay— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) June 24, 2016
The result has ensured David Cameron will go down in the history books as the Prime Minister who failed to take voters with him on the future of their country, with over 17.4 million people rejecting him by choosing Leave. He was once feted for winning last year's general election, but that victory - with 11.3 million voting for him - has been dwarfed by this defeat.
By contrast, Nigel Farage will be remembered as the man the British people chose to follow. His entire political career has led up to what he calls "our independence day".
The Brexit vote is even more remarkable for Mr Farage as his enemies gambled on his image being toxic enough to ensure voters recoiled from the prospect of leaving the EU. They sought to place him front and center in voters' minds, asking them to reject the offer of "Farage's Britain" and making sure they were aware of every controversial utterance or poster he had made.
A variety of polls suggested this could work, as they found he tended to put off more voters than he attracted. This led me to describe him as a "bomb" that could "blow up in the Leave campaign's face", but Mr Farage refused to give the Remain campaign that pleasure. The Ukip leader stuck doggedly to spreading the Brexit message around the country.
He even adopted some of Vote Leave's language, urging voters to "take back control" of their country. He initially feared that Leave had lost the day once polls closed, and was doubtless preparing to fight to stay Ukip leader in that event, but he swiftly changed tack as the results showed that the night would go his way.
Mr Farage is already regarded with reverence by Ukip members, and his work to secure Brexit will ensure his apotheosis. Ukip MEP David Coburn once told me that Mr Farage deserved to be honoured in Westminster Abbey if he did this.
While this may not be on the cards just yet, he referendum result will guarantee Nigel Farage a place in history as the man who led Britain out of the European Union.